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The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra: leading the way to a circular economy

Sitra

The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra is a future fund collaborating with partners to research, trial and implement bold ideas that shape the future. It aims to make Finland a pioneer in sustainable well-being.

Since 2015, Sitra has been working to lead the way to a circular economy – a new kind of society in which everyday lives and well-being are no longer based on excessive consumption and fossil fuel use.

Currently, Sitra’s work focuses on supporting a fair transition to a circular economy and investigating how business can be based on sharing instead of ownership. Sitra is also working to advance circular trade policies, to increase the understanding of environmental effects of digitisation and to explore the potential of the circular economy to safeguard biodiversity.

Swedish strategy for circular economy accelerates the transition to sustainability

Circular Economy in Sweden
Publication Date: 
12/2020
Country: 
Sweden

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In spring 2020, the spread of the COVID-19 and the resulting economic crisis had a severe impact on society. This situation does, however, enable a stronger contribution to a transition to a circular economy through a green recovery.

As one of the world’s most innovative countries, Sweden has a good chance of addressing this transition by taking important steps to strengthen its competitiveness through technological development and innovation for circular solutions.

Adopted in 2020 based on an agreement between the Government, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party, this strategy sets out the direction and ambition for a long-term and sustainable transition of Swedish society. 

Read it now in English.

Wallenius Water Innovation’s contribution to a circular economy: Using UV light to resist bacterial growth in metalworking fluids

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Sweden

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Wallenius Water Innovation is a Swedish clean-tech company that works with UV light to prevent bacterial growth in metalworking fluids. The non-toxic solution secures long-lasting process fluids without using hazardous biocides. In this way, fluids can more easily be reused in the installation rather than be disposed.

Innovation competition for sustainable plastic use: How do we shape a sustainable food system?

Innovation competition for sustainable plastic use: How do we shape a sustainable food system?

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Author: 
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
Publication Date: 
10/2020
Country: 
Sweden

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This report describes innovation competition as a method of tackling major environmental challenges, specifically how to provide food sustainably and resource-efficiently in the future.

Two teams with expertise in plastics, logistics and sustainability developed solutions focused on a more regional food supply enabling us to reduce the amount of plastic, packaging and transport used. The winning submission is a conversion tool describing the principles of sustainable production and consumption of food.

Recovering nutrients from waste

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Denmark, Estonia, Sweden, Other (Norway)

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Ragn-Sells collects, treats and recycles waste and residual products from businesses, organisations and households.

TOMRA: leading the circular revolution in plastics

TOMRA's Circular Economy Division was established in January 2019 to speed up the transformation to a circular economy and shape future waste and resource systems.

Creating value out of waste for a sustainable future

TOMRA’s cutting-edge sorting technologies retain valuable resources by extracting high-purity fractions from mixed waste and metal streams in the most remote parts of the world. Its technology and equipment has been used in the world’s most advanced recycling plants.

The world’s most efficient deposit-based return systems

TOMRA is the world leader in reverse vending solutions. It provides an automated method for collecting, sorting and handling used beverage containers for recycling or reuse. TOMRA has over 84 000 facilities in more than 60 markets.

Svenska Retursystem’s reusable transit packing system contributes to CO2 and food waste reduction

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Sweden

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Svenska Retursystem contributes to the circular economy through a reusable transit packaging system. It offers an alternative to the single use transit packaging, such as wooden pallets or cardboard boxes, that often contributes to global waste.

ReTuna Återbruksgalleria – the world’s first recycling mall

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Sweden

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ReTuna Återbruksgalleria revolutionises shopping by being the world's first recycling mall in Eskilstuna, Sweden. ReTuna takes old items and gives them new life through repair and upcycling. The public can leave items in the recycling containers provided by the mall, and they are then redistributed to the shops. 

Copenhagen International School (CIS) - a low-energy building and the largest building-integrated photovoltaic in Europe

The school building’s unique facade is covered in 12,000 solar panels, each individually angled to create a sequin-like effect,

CIS Nordhavn is a new school building for the Copenhagen International School (CIS). It is a low-energy building and the largest building-integrated photovoltaic installation in Europe.

Resource Effectiveness and the Circular Economy: how to strengthen Sweden's competitiveness in a future with finite resources

Resource Effectiveness and Circular Economy project logotype

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Author: 
Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences
Publication Date: 
04/2020
Country: 
Sweden

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Contact: 
Caroline Ankarcrona

The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA) has always been a meeting place for Sweden’s future. It builds bridges between the business community, the public sector, academia and the political sphere.

Its two-year project "Resource Effectiveness and the Circular Economy" was aimed at making Sweden more competitive in a future with finite resources, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, by economising on resources and developing new technologies, services and business models in five areas:

Read the synthesis report, marking the completion of the project, which presents the most important conclusions, recommendations and action plans from the five subprojects.

 

 

Test yourself and your lifestyle by Sitra

Sitra logo

Is your lifestyle good or bad for the environment? After taking this short test by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, you will receive tailor-made tips. The aim is to help you save time and money and so to improve your quality of life. 

'Become a Miljönär' campaign: beneficial to circular consumption and participating businesses

Miljönär-logo

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Sweden

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The campaign “Be a Miljönär” [a pun which merges miljö (environment) with miljonär (millionaire)] has a long-term goal: reducing waste and making sustainable consumption a habit among people aged between 18 and 30.

Karma connects surplus food with consumers for a lower price

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France, Sweden, United Kingdom

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Karma is a Swedish startup founded in Stockholm, November 2016. Their app connects surplus food from restaurants, cafes and grocery stores to consumers for a lower price. As a result, users eat great food for less and businesses receive an additional revenue stream — all while reducing food waste.

Tarpaper: No more roofing-felt waste!

Tarpaper asphalt

Tarpaper Recycling is a recycling specialist minimising the environmental impacts of construction waste. It has developed a patented method to recycle bitumen from roofing-felt waste by converting it into a material that can be used as a binder in asphalt production.

Cradlenet

cradlenet logo

Cradlenet is a multi-stakeholder association founded in 2009 to disseminate the Cradle2Cradle concept across Sweden, which has become the country's foremost circular economy network.

Cradlenet aims to accelerate Sweden's transition to a circular economy among companies, organisations and people in order to provide inspiration and momentum, and knowledge about developments in circular thinking.

With all seminars free of charge, Cradlenet members have access to further networking events and knowledge research.

Cradlenet is a non-profit association operating out of Stockholm, and with local networks in Umeå , Malmö and Gothenburg.

Swedish Lifecycle Center

swedish lifecycle center logo

The Swedish Life Cycle Center is an initiative by the Swedish Energy Agency, hosted by Chalmers University of Technology, which strengthens collaboration and engages more organizations to apply a life cyle perspective in Sweden.

The platform, designed for academia, industry, research institutes and government agencies, has been active for 20+ years, counts 14 partners and is supported by 7 government agencies. In 2018, it organized 80 meetings for 370 lifecycle professionals.

The lifecycle center accomplishes its objectives with partnerships for several activities such as: network conferences, seminars, webinars, education, initiating research projects, collaboration and communication activities.

Designing plastics circulation

Designing plastics circulation - electrical and electronic products

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Author: 
Nordic Council of Ministers
Publication Date: 
08/2019
Country: 
Denmark, Finland, Sweden

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Today, most electrical/electronic equipment (EEE) is not designed for recycling, let alone for circulation. Plastics in these products account for 20% of material use, and through better design, significant environmental and financial savings could be made. Technological solutions and circular design opportunities already exist, but they have not yet been implemented. Some challenges, such as ease of disassembly, could be resolved through better communication and by sharing learnings across the value chain. Instead of WEEE, we should focus on developing CEEE: Circular Electrical and Electronic Equipment. The case examples of this report show how different stages of the lifecycle can be designed so that circular plastic becomes possible and makes business sense. It is time to take a leap in material flow management and scale up these circular solutions across the industry.

Retaining value in the Swedish materials system - summary of the report in English

Retaining value in the Swedish materials system

Retaining value in the swedish materials system

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Author: 
Material Economics
Publication Date: 
01/2018
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Sweden

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Contact: 
Per Klevnäs
Angelica Afzelius

The report Retaining value in the Swedish materials system takes a value perspective on the use and recycling of materials in a circular perspective. It analyses the use of materials in the Swedish economy in monetary terms instead of tonnes and cubic metres.

The key questions it seeks to answer include the following:

  • For each 100 SEK of raw material entering the Swedish economy, how much value is retained after one use cycle?
  • What are the main reasons that material value is lost?
  • What measures could retain more materials value, and how much could be recovered? Which business opportunities arise as a result?

This value perspective gives a much more realistic view of how circular the Swedish materials system really is, as it captures all the downgrading effects that occur through its use of materials, in addition to the volume effects that also traditional research approaches capture. The value perspective also turns materials recycling into an industrial innovation and an economic topic, in addition to an environmental topic. To our knowledge, this is the first time anyone has value-mapped a material system in this way. 

Read more about the results and download the full report (in Swedish) here.

ShareWear showed 340,000 consumers fashion can be borrowed, not only bought

items from the first ShareWear collection

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Sweden

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ShareWear, a part of the Swedish Democreativity initiative, was launched to inspire a sustainable way to be fashionable. A ready-to-share collection with Swedish fashion items allowed consumers to borrow unique clothing - but only if they shared it forward.

Klättermusen makes outdoor clothing and backpacks from recycled polyamide and polyester

klateermusen recycled polyamide backpack

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Sweden

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Klättermusen is a Swedish outdoor clothing company producing waterproof jackets, pants and backpacks made at least partly from recycled polyamide. The polyamide is created from post-industrial waste including packaging materials from factories, old carpets as well as discarded industrial fishing nets.

FISSAC project - a new Industrial Symbiosis model for the Construction industry

Fostering Industrial Symbiosis for a Sustainable Resource Intensive Industry across the extended Construction Value Chain

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Spain

The FISSAC project involves stakeholders at all levels of the construction and demolition value chain to develop a methodology and software platform, to facilitate information exchange, that can support industrial symbiosis networks and replicate pilot schemes at local and regional levels.

Turning coffee by-product into green energy

This joint venture is a successful and genuine example of a short circuit circular loop where Veolia and Jacobs Douwe Egberts developed a solution to use spent coffee grounds from the plant’s production process to produce steam.